Locker searches are common occurrences in American public schools. The use of locker searches has proliferated in recent years due to continuing threats of drugs and violence.
There has always been a fundamental tension between public school students and educational authorities in determining the parameters of acceptable student behavior.
Ratified by the states in 1868 shortly after the end of the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enacted with multiple purposes in mind. First, the Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship and the promise of equality for Black Americans, many of whom were freed slaves.
Free speech in the public schools is based on the First Amendment to the Constitution, according to which “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.”
The First Amendment was enacted in response to the experiences that the American colonists had with their British government as that government established religions in some colonies and limited freedom of the press generally.
The term federalism refers to the division of power and responsibility between the states and the national government.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that no state may “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
According to the Eleventh Amendment, “The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.”
The Eighth Amendment, enacted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, provides that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” (U.S. Const., Amend. VIII).
Based on precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court, dual systems of public education were those that operated separate and distinct schools for students who were White and children who were African American or other minorities such as Mexican American.
Drug testing of teachers involves the law regarding search and seizure, and it must consider both the general nature of a workplace with the expectation that privacy exists there and the specific nature of a school setting with the special considerations necessary there.
Drug testing of students most often arises in two circumstances: tests conducted when a school official reasonably believes that a student is under the influence of a controlled substance not permitted by law or school policy, and tests conducted pursuant to a policy permitting random, suspicionless drug tests.
For decades, school systems engaged in efforts to stem drug use and violence in schools.
School dress codes have their origins in English private schools but only recently became common in American public schools.
Defamation is an injurious statement about a person’s reputation; it usually involves a defamer, who imputes questionable character or inappropriate conduct about another, the defamed party.
Four distinct movements in American educational history have approached the interpretation of what may be taught to children regarding the origins of life.
In the mid-1970s, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of educators to use corporal punishment to foster discipline in the public schools.
Compulsory attendance laws refer to legislative mandates that school-aged children attend public, nonpublic, or homeschools until reaching specified ages.